There’s nothing to like about oil-downs. They’re costly, they take way too much time to clean up and they stink for the environment. It’s horrible when a car crosses the centerline during competition or takes out the timing blocks. NHRA has decided to enforce further penalties for these types of egregious behaviors, starting with this weekend’s Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.
The penalties will apply for both Mello Yello pro drivers and riders and for Lucas Oil amateur competitors at National Events. Leading toward the coming race weekend, NHRA has decided that, in addition to current centerline crossings and/or striking of timing blocks penalties, which disqualify the run and its times, the sanction will impose further penalties.
If a competitor crosses the centerline and/or strikes the centerline timing blocks during both qualifying and eliminations competition, they’ll lose five NHRA points for the first offense and ten for a second offense, while all subsequent violations mean a loss of 15 points per violation.
“Crossing the centerline and/or striking timing blocks is a serious safety concern and causes delays in racing due to cleanup time required for such incidents,” NHRA said.
Points to take into account for this change are that the policy includes the entire distance from the start line to the traditional quarter-mile finish line at 1,320 feet.
For Top Fuel and Funny Car entries that race to 1,000 feet, the penalty will take effect beyond their finish line at 1,000 feet up to the 1,320-foot marker. By the same token, these two categories will not be subject to the standard disqualification of the run, loss of elapsed-time policy for this specific violation in their shut-down area.
If a competitor manages to both oil-down the track and cross the centerline/hit the timing block in the same run, the oil-down points policy – and disqualification of the run – will apply. It will not result in a double points penalty. Finally, crossing the centerline during a burnout is not considered a violation of this new policy.
These new edicts take effect at Gainesville this weekend and applies to all riders/drivers in every NHRA category contested at each NHRA National Event.